Centenary celebration by friends of city park

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A GALA is being held this weekend to celebrate the centenary of one of Hull’s oldest parks.

Pickering Park was opened in 1911 by the wife of trawler owner Christopher Pickering, who gave the land to the people of Hull for their “rest, relaxation or exercise”.

Helping mark the milestone will be Hull and Hessle MP Alan Johnson, who will be planting a tree with Lord Mayor Colin Inglis later cutting the park’s birthday cake, decorated with a trawler and donated by Aunt Bessie’s.

There will be 45 exhibitors over Saturday and Sunday, with a Punch and Judy show, fairground rides and sports, dance displays, an exhibition by East Yorkshire Thoroughbred Cars, home-made cakes and refreshments on both days.

Secretary Pat Tharratt from the Friends of Pickering Park said it had been a tough haul to raise sponsorship for the £6,000 event but hoped it would be worth it. She said: “We hope that whole streets will come along, bringing back the times when a trip to the park was a day out.

“The Friends may be biased in believing Pickering Park to be one of the most beautiful of its kind, and modernisation is a work in hand.

“Times may be hard but parks are free to enter – even for our gala weekend. Communities can help each other and we can learn a lot from history, so let’s get together, have a special party to mark a special birthday for a special park.”

The Friends had been unable to raise money in time for the restoration of the wrought iron gates – which were considered so special that they survived the Second World War intact – but are planning to return to fundraising in earnest once the centenary is over.

On Saturday at 7pm an old-style variety show is being held at St Nicholas Church off Hessle Road.

Tickets for the fundraising event cost £4 and are available on 07900 520523. Events on Saturday start at 10am until 4.30pm, reopening on Sunday from 11pm to 4pm.